Mothers to make walk against drunk driving Aug. 19

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host the second annual Walk Like MADD fundraiser Aug. 19 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Window Rock, Arizona.

Priscilla Gibbs and Geri Groover planned the walk in memory of their sister, Virginia David, who lost her life to a drunk driver Aug. 13, 2015.

Gibbs and Groover want to make sure their sister is remembered, but also they want to bring awareness to the problems associated with impaired driving on the Navajo Reservation.

The walk is meant to help victims, like the David and Begay families, honor loved ones who have been killed or injured by impaired driving and aid in the healing process.

More information about the walk or to register or donate is available at https://www.walklikemadd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=811.

Aug. 13, 2015 started out like any average day for Priscilla Begay (Gibbs). But in the evening, one of Begay’s sisters called and Begay knew nothing would be the same again. Her sister, Virginia David, had died in a head on collision with a drunk driver.

David, who originally lived in Greasewood Springs, Arizona, was a non-emergency transportation worker. She transported patients to their medical appointments. She was transporting patients that day, who also died. The man who was driving drunk had two passengers who were killed in the collision. In total, five people died as a result of the collision.

David left behind one daughter and six boys.

Begay wanted her sister’s kids to have someone they could turn to, someone who is or had gone through the exact same thing the kids were going through. MADD’s mission is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of those violent crimes and prevent underage drinking, according to its website. MADD also has a 24-hour victim help line for those affected by drunk driving, which can be found on its website: www.madd.org.

Begay and the family attended a Phoenix MADD walk in October of that year, which was a very emotional day for the family because there were people who had been going to the walks for years and years. That was what inspired Begay to put on a walk for her sister, whose world revolved around her kids and grandkids. Begay did not want her sister to be just a memory.

Begay started working with MADD and became a volunteer for the organization. She decided that she wanted to do a walk on the same day her sister was killed, Aug. 13, which is also their father’s birthday.

The money raised goes toward the walk on Aug. 13 and to purchase t-shirts for those who register for the walk and participate.

Begay wants people to participate and thinks it is important to make people aware that drunk driving is happening. She said she has talked to many people who have had the same experience with a father, a brother, a sister, a mother, and that it is hard to get over. She wants people to know that MADD is there as a resource.

Her message is also that if you are going to drink, designate someone to drive.

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